smart-mama-ski-helmet.jpgThis week ski resorts around the US are having the National Ski Areas Association’s National Safety Awareness Week, and I wanted to remind all parents about slope safety. Skiing is a fun hobby the whole family can enjoy together, but there are a few safety issues parents should always remember to teach children. The earlier they’ll learn safe skiing principles, the better you will prevent skiing accidents later.

And don’t forget the ski helmet – read more about tips how to get your child to use on later on this article.

It is important to teach your child the responsibility code, provided by National Ski Areas Association. Always show courtesy to others and be aware that there are elements of risk in skiing that common sense and personal awareness can help reduce.

RESPONSIBILITY CODE
(Code copied from NSAA)

– Always stay in control, and be able to stop or avoid other people or objects.

– People ahead of you have the right of way. It is your responsibility to avoid them.

– You must not stop where you obstruct a trail, or are not visible from above.

– Whenever starting downhill or merging into a trail, look uphill and yield to others.

– Always use devices to help prevent runaway equipment.

– Observe all posted signs and warnings. Keep off closed trails and out of closed areas.

– Prior to using any lift, you must have the knowledge and ability to load, ride and unload safely.

Teach this code to your child, and don’t let them go on a mountain adventure without knowing it.

USE A HELMET

Benefits of using a ski helmet has been a controversial issue among skiers for years. While ski helmet can prevent many serious injuries, there are also injuries because of a wrongful use of a ski helmet. My husband is an emergency helicopter pilot at the Rocky Mountains, covering several ski resort areas, and trust me when I say: using a ski helmet is for your own good, and can even save your life.

There are a few important issues though. Always use a well fitting helmet, which is strapped. The helmet might fall of if it isn’t strapped well, or strangle if teh strap is loosely closed. Remember to check this on your children’s helmets too – you should be able to have a space of one finger between your child’s chin and the helmet strap, not more.

Top tips how to get kids to wear a helmet:

1. Set an example. Wear a helmet and show you are safe too.

2. Show an example. Show your child an example who else is wearing a helmet – a teacher, an older child, the nice neigbour or the cool snowboard dude on the slope. Professional athletes are a great examples on TV too.

3. Do it with style. Buy a helmet your child likes. There are helmets with Sponge Bob or Spiderman – if that’s what’s needed to get your kid using a ski helmet, then let the cartoon characters help you. Girly girl? There are plenty of pink helmets on the market.

4. Get comfortable. Purchase a helmet that fits well and is comfortable and lightweight to wear. The more comfy the helmet, the more likely your child will want to wear it.

5. Personalize it. Buy fun helmet stickers so your child can decorate her/his own helmet. Sometimes this such a small thing to us can be such a big deal for the kids.

Now go and have some fun at the slopes, just remember to be safe!


Reporting from the Rocky Mountains, Katja owns the fabulous upscale online clothing boutique Skimbaco (www.skimbaco.com), and blogs about the Skimbaco Lifestyle at skimbaco.blogspot.com.

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